“The Love They Leave Behind”

The holidays are fast approaching and so many of us are missing the people that are unable to be around our table. I’m missing three of my five children, yet I know that they’re only a phone call away.

And then there are those that have passed away that we miss. I miss those people yet I smile when I think of them. 

And as I was thinking of them the other day, I thought this: “When they passed they took my love with them, yet they left so much more than they took.”

What I mean by that is this: They took the love but they left me with the precious memories, the sound of their laughter, the stories they told year after year, the image of their face when they smiled, and the remembrance of the feeling of their hugs. They left a piece of themselves in everyone whose life they touched.

And they left all that love for me to carry in my heart until I see them again.

I smile when I think of them or laugh out loud when I remember something funny that they did or said.

I tell my children the stories that they had told me.

I look at old photographs of them and remember that exact moment in time when they were here.

I don’t cry bitter tears over them leaving this world, but cry tears of joy in knowing that they left the best part of them behind with me.

I honor their memory by living my life to the fullest because that’s how they lived theirs. 

I embrace the love that they left with me and carry it in my heart.

And I am grateful and blessed for the time I had with them.

After all, they loved me enough to leave a piece of themselves behind with me.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

They Left More

Photo by Anne Dennish copyright@2019

 

 

 

“The Perfect Christmas”

Christmas is fast approaching and the countdown is on. Final decorations are being done on and around the house and wish lists of gifts are being bought. It’s another year of making the “perfect Christmas” happen for your family and friends.

Yet is all this preparation what makes it perfect? Will you and yours remember the decorations and gifts? Will you remember the table and the meal?

Or will you remember the “imperfections?”

Will you remember the year that mom’s arm got caught inside the turkey as she was taking the giblets out? Will you remember the year you broke your arm on Christmas Eve only to wake up to a new skateboard the next day? Will you remember the year the entire family had the stomach virus and all camped out in the living room? Will you remember your sister running down the stairs on Christmas morning only to miss the bottom step?

You see, it’s the “imperfections” that make it perfect. It’s not the matching Christmas pajamas and the family Christmas cards, it’s the family. It’s not the beautifully set Christmas table with a delicious dinner, it’s the people who sit around it.

While “perfection” can be captured in a picture, it’s the “imperfections” which are captured in your heart. They become the stories shared and passed down to other generations. They become the tradition of storytelling and the legacy for our children.

As the years pass, so does the idea of the “perfect” Christmas, and as we grow older, we begin to realize that what means the most is the memory of the “imperfections” and the loved ones who were part of them. Life changes, children move away, and sometimes the many faces that once sat around our table are no longer with us, but their memories, their stories and their love always surrounds us.

And sometimes we forget that. I see so many people writing about their sadness in missing the “old days,” yet I think that is such a waste of energy. I know that there are those I’m missing, yet I choose to embrace the memories as stories to share with my children. I choose to embrace this time, these loved ones who are in my life now, and who will be around my table this year.

Memories aren’t meant to bring sadness, they’re meant to bring joy! And for those feeling an ache in their heart, please try and remember the love, the joy, and the memories of those not present this year. They gifted you with all those things and more.

Take a moment during this busy holiday time to remember the “imperfections” of Christmas’ past, and look forward to the “imperfections” to come!

After all, the “perfect Christmas” lives in your heart.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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